Mar 24, 2014

That one time I ran 13.1 miles and I wasn't being chased!

So unless you've been living under a rock (or are a new follower), I signed up for a half marathon back in December once my December one was canceled due to a lovely layer of ice in the Dallas metro area.  I had put in the mileage and I knew I was ready.  (Also in December I had ran my own unofficial half marathon to just prove to myself that I could do it.)

Around January my sister decided she would also start wogging, with a bit more jogging.  She was putting in the same mileage as me and I was so proud of her every time she got faster or increased her distance.  She is a trooper.  She then made the choice like me and signed up for the March half marathon with me!

Every Sunday we'd put in our mileage around White Rock Lake.  Fortunately, she only let me talk her out of running one day and besides, all the water fountains were turned off!

March 22, 2014 - We boarded the DART rail early on Saturday to go pick up our race packets.  I was super excited to go to the Expo and see what swag I could pick up!  And besides me being classified as a male and them handing me the wrong race bib, all went well!

Me and my sister, Andrea
That night I was so excited to get everything laid out and ready for the early hour of race day!  I found it extremely helpful to lay out my 'Runner Girl' to make sure she was well outfitted!
Shirt: Ruffles with Love
I had my visor because there was a chance of rain, my shirt, my compression pants, my socks, my Asics, my earphones, my 2:30 pacing bracelet, 4 pieces of gum, 8 Clif Shot Bloks, my armband, and my running pack (fanny pack?!).  I have not been running with my shuffle lately because I've been energized by hearing my time, pace, and splits.  I miss the good music though.  Pandora has been okay, but it is not the same.

The alarm was set for 5:00 am and it was time for some sleep!  One last check of the weather still showed possible rain, but the chances were getting slimmer... thank goodness!

After a swig of NyQuil, I slept like a champ.  The alarm went off and I was ready to go!!  I ate a scrambled egg and one slice of bread with almond butter.  I didn't want to each much more than I was used to in fear of having 'the runners poop'.  C'mon... you know it is a REAL thing!

Andrea and I loaded the train at 6:14 am headed to downtown Dallas.  We got there about 6: 45am which turned out to be a really good time.  It gave us time to go to the restroom and sit, stretch, and people watch for awhile.  Before we knew it, it was time to get into our corrals.

I had decided at the Expo that I would pace with the 2:30 Running Club.  I was panicked because I couldn't find them in Corral 10 where they were supposed to be.  I looked and looked.  Finally, I decided I knew what I needed to do and that was stay below an 11:12 mile in order to finish in my goal of 2:30.  So, I ran without the pace team the whole way.

For my next marathon, I will take a lot more pictures.  I'll keep my phone in my hand to capture all the excitement, the thousands of people, the hilarious signs, costumes, and dances people were doing.  The atmosphere was just indescribable.  Just when you thought it was getting boring, someone with an awesome sign would appear along the course.  

Some of my favorite signs:
"Four months ago you thought this was a good idea."
"Run faster, I just tooted." A little boy in a wagon was holding this one.
"My Mom is faster than your Mom."
"Don't worry, you're not last."
"Run faster, people are chasing you!"
"3 more miles until beer!"
A girl hanging out on a couch with curlers, a robe, and a painted face mask, "You got up early on a Sunday to do THIS?"

Seriously, it was the best.  We started in downtown Dallas and ran to Fair Park.  It went through downtown, weaved around Katy Trail and the American Airlines center, through Highland Park, over Hwy 75, up Mockingbird Lane, down Skillman, and finally onto Haskell into Fair Park.  One thing we didn't really train for?  Hills.  Hills.  Hills. Hills.  I knew it was going to be bad when I'd look up ahead and see the back of everyone's shirts.  I didn't want to see that.  I only wanted to see their heads.  But when I could see everyone's backs, I knew there was a gigantic hill coming.  The hills did not disappoint.  I just knew if I kept running UP the hill... I'd get there faster.

Miles 1-5 flew by.  Once I got to mile 6, I realized I had beat my fastest 6 miles/10k to date and that kept me going as well.  I was averaging between a 10:40-11:07 mile.  Once again, I knew to stay below that 11:12 mile to make my personal goal.

Mile 8 I stopped at the medic tent to get vaseline.  My sports bra was rubbing my side raw.  That is my only battle wound from the entire race.

Mile 10.5 I was feeling well enough to take a video which I happily posted to Instagram and Facebook. 

Mile 11 I was ready to die.  I knew the end was so close which I think made it worse... I was losing momentum and was just ready to be done.

Mile 12 I knew I had less than a mile to go.  I took my phone out of my armband so that I could stop it at just the right time to mark my mileage.  The entire race my Map My Run was just a little ahead the actual marathon clocks.

Mile 13.1 had finally come.  I could see the finish line.  I could see all the happy faces.  I could see all the kids waiting on their parents.  I was done!  I had made it!  I ran the ENTIRE race.  I stopped at the water stations so I wouldn't slip or choke, but other than that... the entire 13.1 miles were spent with actual running.  I couldn't believe it.

I stopped my Map My Run and just ran with total pride, enjoyment, and accomplishment.  I had finished.  I had completed my first half marathon.  I had completed it 7 minutes under my goal... by myself!!!

Go Pokes!

Giving high fives

Coming to that glorious finish line!

I couldn't be more proud to run and finish our first half marathon together!
After finishing I gobbled down a banana, a small bagel, a bag of pretzels, a chocolate milk, and a small Jimmy John's sandwich.  I was famished!

Andrea finished at 2:53 with a dead phone.  So glad she had signed up for the Runner Tracking or we wouldn't have known for awhile!  So proud of her!

My official stats:

And now I have 34 more days until my next one.  That's right, the Oklahoma City Memorial race is next.  And I'm sure I haven't even began to see hills yet...

It is not a competition except with yourself!
Thank you ALL so much for your motivation, kind words, and uplifting thoughts.  I love you all!


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